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Old 22-02-2020, 09:59   #1
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Lightbulb Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Welcome to Fenix Project! A tiller autopilot based on Arduino.

First workable release is already available.
https://github.com/spascual90/Fenix

Technical documentation gathered in a Wiki:
https://emacua.fandom.com/wiki/EMacua_Wiki

Background,
I am a passionate of sail cruising. In my aim to equipe my weekender boat, I faced the need for navigation aids. Disregarding the reduction of costs that electronics have suffered, a basic navigation system is still very expensive and out of my budget.

I may understand there are many other people also interested in such a system but not able to find a complete and documented solution to be straitforward implemented.

Fortunatelly, I am skilled in project management, SW programming, physics, and not bad at electronics.

The goals of Fenix project are,
- to develop and test a prototype of open-source DIY navigation system for mini-cruisers.
- to gather individual efforts to a joint solution.
- get users to adopt the system into their own boats with minimum technical knowledge.

The current version features,
- Manual mode, auto-bearing mode, Navigation mode.
- Bluetooth to Android App
- Serial I/F to calibrate IMU, linear actuator and configure autopilot
- Serial I/F to control autopilot from any USB serial connection (laptop/ raspberry PI terminal)
- Configurable deadband and gain
- Integration to OpenCPN

I will focus now in the documentation and testing of this very first release of the autopilot.

Hope you find it useful. Any feedback is welcome!

Best regards,
spascual90
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Old 23-02-2020, 07:02   #2
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Looks super so far.... . Following. ;-)
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Old 21-03-2020, 11:48   #3
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Hi there!
As promised I've been improving the documentation of the project with the aim of ease adoption of the system.
You will find in the link below brand new Fenix Autopilot User Guide!

https://spascual90.gitbook.io/fenix-autopilot/

Still under construction, however main user cases are already described,
- Engaging the autopilot (Auto mode)
- Disengaging the autopilot (Standby mode)
- Changing course
- Dodging obstacles and back to course

Connection through USB to Laptop is completely described. This allows user to change autopilot settings and adapt to your boat or specific sea conditions.

Unfortunatelly I could not perform any sea trial due to the COVID19 situation in Spain... I just had time to install the system on my boat, some pictures in this post.


Hope you find it useful. Any feedback is welcome!

Best regards,
spascual90
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Old 23-03-2020, 15:02   #4
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

I post a couple of videos as demo,

https://youtu.be/i5q8hUcgmjI

https://youtu.be/MT6WP9Sg7r0

Kind regards
Sergio
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Old 24-03-2020, 12:08   #5
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Integrate Gyro (MPU6050) ?
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Old 24-03-2020, 14:24   #6
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
Integrate Gyro (MPU6050) ?
Currently only BNO055 is integrated. This is a 9dof imu which provides magnetic Heading avoiding Arduino processor to do the calculus.
If it is also the case for mpu6050 it can also be integrated.

Regards
Sergio
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Old 04-11-2020, 11:32   #7
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Is this project continuing?
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Old 07-11-2020, 13:32   #8
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Hello! The project is in good progress.
I performed some sea trials along the summer. All in good sea conditions and engine powered. Only Auto mode was tested, not track mode. As a result I identified room for improvement in the following areas,
I realized calibration of the electronic compass is not so easy when it is installed on boat. In consequence, the accurancy of the IMU was unstable and by design, the autopilot disengaged automatically and raised an alarm. Initial calibration was automatically restored and ready to start autopilot operations again. I could not get the autopilot working for more than 2 minutes without stopping automatically for this reason.
In consequence, I took the decission to implement some changes:
- Autopilot will only automatically restore calibration in Stand-by mode, never in operation (Auto or Track).
- Compass calibration status will be displayed through Android App, in order to warn user in case of low accurancy.
- Calibration functionality implemented in Android App, laptop connection is not required anymore.
I also perceived that main button design as multi-function button was not so great idea. Depending on autopilot status, pressing this button would trigger different actions, some of them causing the turn of the boat. This represented a risk of turning by error with associate safety implications.
To minimize this risk, I changed the behaviour of the main button of the Android App, this can only connect the autopilot to keep current heading or disengage the autopilot, but never a turn.
I also worked in the implementation of buttons for tacking start/portboard.
The performance of the autopilot with the initial PID values was low. Too slow reaction to bearing changes. I changed the values by test and error method and behaviour improved significantly, but I feel that there should be an auto-tunning functionality to help finding best values to each PID parameter.
The performance of the autopilot with the initial PID values was low. Too slow reaction to bearing changes. I changed the values by test and error method and behaviour improved significantly, but I felt that there should be an auto-tunning functionality to help finding best values to each PID parameter.
In conclusion, new functionalities and improvements of the Android App,
Calibration of linear actuator and compass.
Star/portboard tacking buttons.
Improved design of the screens/ buttons.
Still to do,
Method Performance auto-tunning

For more info, you can check the user manual,
https://app.gitbook.com/@spascual90/s/fenix-autopilot

There are some videos available in youtube,
https://www.youtube.com/user/spascual90

Regards,
Sergio
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Old 07-11-2020, 15:55   #9
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Check out Pelagic Autopilot.
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Old 07-11-2020, 16:29   #10
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR View Post
Check out Pelagic Autopilot.
Hi there!
I do not want the finished product, there are a lot of manufacturers! I want to play nicely and build it myself! We say "Who plays, doesn't get angry" :-))
Regards Vitek
Perhaps the compiler will translate this clearly. I speak little English, I use Google Translate
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:00   #11
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Hi Sergio, please on Google play are a few Virtuino that I use? Can you describe the installation on Android more? Can I find updated files for Android on your GitHub?
Thanks Vitek
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:45   #12
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Quote:
Originally Posted by lodnik View Post
Hi Sergio, please on Google play are a few Virtuino that I use? Can you describe the installation on Android more? Can I find updated files for Android on your GitHub?
Thanks Vitek
Hi Lodnik,
You have to install Virtuino viewer.
On GitHub repository Virtuino for Fenix download and unzip last version available, v1.1b1.

https://github.com/spascual90/Virtui...ag/v1.1-beta.1

There is just one file that shall be copied in a specific folder of your Android phone, whether the standard download folder or the Virtuino folder. The root to these folders are well identified in Virtuino.
Open Virtuino, select " load project" and select folder (download or virtuino). Select the Fenix project file and that's it!

From now on, Fenix App will be loaded each time you open Virtuino app.

I hope this is clear. Don't hesitate to ask any further question you may have.

Regards
Sergio
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:51   #13
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Hi Sergio, Virtuino viewer installed, fenix.vrt file installed, all functional, OK. Nice job. Thank you.
I have one more question. I would like to compile for Arduino myself from the Arduino IDE. Can you tell me how to do it? I can do IDE with Arduino.
Note - Sloeber installation is currently broken, installation gives error: Link broken.
Vitek
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Old 08-11-2020, 14:13   #14
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

Quote:
Originally Posted by lodnik View Post
Hi Sergio, Virtuino viewer installed, fenix.vrt file installed, all functional, OK. Nice job. Thank you.
I have one more question. I would like to compile for Arduino myself from the Arduino IDE. Can you tell me how to do it? I can do IDE with Arduino.
Note - Sloeber installation is currently broken, installation gives error: Link broken.
Vitek
Good news Virtuino is up and running.
I Don't know what link is broken. It has been years since I installed it in my laptop and I did it following instructions in https://eclipse.baeyens.it/

If you are more specific I will try to help. Maybe a screenshot?

Regards
Sergio

Regards
Sergio
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Old 08-11-2020, 14:20   #15
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Re: Fenix autopilot project - tiller autopilot based on Arduino

I'd rather work in Arduino-IDE ... :-) Is it possible? I'm just an amateur.
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